Ocean Highway was a state highway in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Legislated in 1909 as Ocean Boulevard, it was New Jersey’s first state highway. Amending legislation in 1910 changed the designation to Ocean Highway.
It is not related to Ocean Drive.
The Ocean Highway was to run from Atlantic Highlands to Cape May. The 1910 Annual Report of the New Jersey Commissioner of Public Roads refers to the funding of several projects specifically to be included in the route:
- For the improvement of a road along the bluff at Atlantic Highlands, conditioned upon the county expending a like amount…..$10,000.00
- For filling in the head of Wesley Lake and the construction of a roadway between Ocean Grove and Asbury Park…..$5,700.00
- For the acquisition of land and the opening up and improvement of the road known as the extension of Ocean Avenue in the Borough of Spring Lake…..$4,300.00
- For the improvement of the road between Lakewood and Tom’s River…..$11,000.00
- For the improvement of the road between New Gretna and the Mullica River Bridge…..$7,000.00
- For the straightening, widening and improvement of the road between Chestnut Neck and Absecon…..$5,000.00
- For the improvement of the Main Shore Road between Cape May Court House and Cape May, and the road between Petersburg and Seaville…..$7,000.00
From the above and later projects, this route followed Ocean Boulevard through Atlantic Highlands to Navesink Avenue in Highlands. From there it followed Ocean Avenue south through Monmouth County along the Atlantic Ocean. Though the commission didn’t outline the way through Monmouth County south of Deal, a popular route outlined by the Automobile Blue Book passed through Allenhurst via Corlies Avenue and Norwood Avenue, continuing to Asbury Park on Park Avenue, Sunset Avenue, Grand Avenue, and Cookman Avenue. Another route outlined in the book continued south from Asbury Park on Main Street, heading straight through Spring Lake on Third Avenue, East Lake Avenue, and 1st Avenue, returning to modern-day Route 79 by Washington Avenue in Sea Girt. The highway then continued south along Route 79 (barring a small realignment around Parker Ave and Stockton Lake Blvd), then accessed the Point Pleasant Bridge by Union Lane, Evergreen Avenue, Riverview Drive, and Higgins Avenue. The Ocean Highway then crossed into Ocean County via the present Route 35, though it diverged from this route to access Point Pleasant more directly by way of River Ave and Arnold Avenue. The route continued on to Lakewood via the present Route 88, then roughly followed U.S. Route 9 and Route 109 to Cape May. Major divergences from this route include Route 166, accessing Toms River; roadway connecting to a now demolished bridge across the Mullica River, partly replaced by Route 167; and the Shore Road in Atlantic County, which U.S. 9 has bypassed and is now partly serviced by Route 157.  Because the bridge across the Great Egg Harbor had yet to be built, motorists could either go through Ocean City, or travel east along this spur, up Route 50 to Egg Harbor City, and east to Abescom along the White Horse Pike.